Google goes on Christmas acquisition spree

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Google goes on Christmas acquisition spree

Google has got out the chequebook again and purchased two new technologies to incorporate into the company.

First up is Cambridge-based Phonetic Arts, a business focused on voice technologies. Using speech synthesis, the company generates what it claims to be natural expressive speech for computers, enabling games to use any types of voice rather than an inadequate sample.

On the Google blog, Mike Cohen, manager of speech technology at the internet giant, wrote: “There’s a particular focus right now in the UK on technology and innovation, and we’re delighted to be deepening our investment in the country with this acquisition.”

“We already have a strong engineering centre in London and look forward to welcoming Phonetic Arts to the team.”

The second acquisition Google has entered into was of US anti-piracy firm Widevine.

The company specialises in technologies which ensure media devices connected to the internet do not share video if use is unauthorised.

“We are committed to maintaining Widevine’s agreements and will provide direct, quality support for their existing and future clients – and we plan to build upon Widevine’s technology to enhance both their products and our own,” wrote Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google, on his blog.

“We’re excited to welcome the Widevine team to Google, and together we’ll work to improve access to great video content across the web.”

The amount of cash Google paid out for the two firms was not disclosed.

Google might be hoping the two acquisitions will take the focus off the rumoured Groupon buyout.

Reports this weekend claimed the high profile sale has fallen through after Groupon decided to walk away from the possible $US6 billion (£3.8 billion) takeover, favouring its independence.

This article originally appeared at

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